WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Behind every organization, there is a founder’s story and mine began long before I ever started Thought Leadership Lab. About fifteen years ago, I was the CEO of an organization I co-founded in Silicon Valley, then known as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE). That role afforded me the unique opportunity to speak widely about entrepreneurship, venture capital, and women, and I developed a unique niche and expertise in that arena.
In just three years, with no plan and little inkling of what might unfold, I went from an almost completely unknown non-profit executive to receiving widespread media coverage, numerous opportunities to speak at national and international conferences and universities, and even an invitation to the White House to participate in a coalition to advance women’s entrepreneurship efforts nationally.
During that time, I grew a community of followers for our efforts and a number of those talented folks stepped forward to start FWE chapters in six other cities, including Paris, France. My new-found fame brought me to the attention of the National Women’s Business Council and I was asked to co-found the first venture conference for women, Springboard. I was also honored to receive several community service and leadership awards and was even featured in Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and quoted in the New York Times.
As you can guess, it was a heady and exciting time…until it wasn’t. After the dot com crash, the amazing whirlwind came to a screeching halt. Funding dried up, entrepreneurship was no longer ‘cool’ and the press stopped calling.
When I look back, could I have predicted my meteoric rise from obscurity to fame? Never. Could I have enjoyed it more? I’m not sure. Could I have been better prepared and done more to leverage my new-found celebrity to have a bigger impact in my niche and expand my access to the next job or opportunity? To that question, I would answer a very resounding YES.
That’s why I do what I do today – serving as an agent, coach, strategist, and advisor to entrepreneurs and executives who are ready to make their own leap from leader to thought leader. I want to ensure that others not only know how to become the go-to person in their niche but that they understand how to leverage the opportunities that are presented and continue to scale their impact even if things go awry.
It is highly engaging and rewarding work and as I watch our amazing clients out changing the world, I celebrate the chance we have to make a difference. That is a legacy of which I am very proud.
What do you want to be known for?
Link here to read my formal bio. Learn more about our services or how to hire me to speak to your team, organization or upcoming event. Or contact me.